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Cameroonian Journalist Martinez Zogo Found Dead After Abduction

The mutilated body of a prominent Cameroonian journalist Martinez Zogo was discovered on Sunday near the capital Yaounde, five days after he was abducted by unidentified assailants, according to the press union and a colleague.

Martinez Zogo’s disappearance and death, according to media supporters, is yet some other example of the dangers of reporting in the African country.

According to media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Zogo, the director of private radio station Amplitude FM, was kidnapped on Jan. 17 by unknown assailants after attempting to enter a police station to escape his attackers.

RSF reported that Zogo had lately spoken on the air about alleged embezzlement involving a media organisation with government ties.

“Cameroonian media has just lost one of its members, a victim of hatred and barbarism,” Cameroon’s journalists’ trade union said in a statement. “Where is the freedom of the press, freedom of opinion and freedom of expression in Cameroon when working in the media now entails a mortal risk?”

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His colleague, Charlie Amie Tchouemou, editor-in-chief of Amplitude FM, confirmed Zogo’s death and his abduction. The police and the government did not respond to calls for comment.

The incident is the latest in a string of attacks against journalists in Cameroon, which has a vibrant press and which is ruled by President Paul Biya, who has a decades-long record of repressing opposition.

Cameroon is one of many countries across the continent, from Burkina Faso to Ethiopia to Equatorial Guinea, where journalists complain that media freedoms are under threat from authoritarian governments.

“Although Cameroon has one of the richest media landscapes in Africa, it is one of the continent’s most dangerous countries for journalists, who operate in a hostile and precarious environment,” RSF says in its Cameroon country profile.

Radio France Internationale reporter Ahmed Abba was arrested in July 2015 and imprisoned for two years on terrorism charges that rights groups denounced as a sham. Outspoken reporter Paul Chouta, who worked for private news website Cameroon Web, was beaten and stabbed by unknown attackers in 2019.

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